Monkeypox vaccination clinics to be held in Toronto to protect 'at-risk individuals'

Toronto Public Health (TPH) and its community partners will be holding monkeypox vaccination clinics to help protect “at-risk individuals.”

TPH said over the next week, there will be 24 vaccination opportunities to “protect residents and help curb virus spread.”

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On Saturday there will be two vaccination clinics.

The first will be held at The 519, located at 519 Church Street between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The other will be held at Metro Hall, located at 55 John Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to TPH, the clinics will offer vaccination to those who “meet the provincial criteria.” More information can be found on the city’s website.

According to data released by Public Health Ontario, as of June 13, there had been 18 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Toronto. There are also nine probable cases, and 14 suspected cases under investigation.

TPH said it is following federal and provincial guidance on the administration of Imvamune vaccines.

According to TPH, the clinics are intended for people 18 years and older who are “transgender or cisgender individuals who self-identify as a man and belonging to the community of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men community,” as well as at least one of the following:

  • Have been identified as a close contact of someone who recently tested positive for monkeypox
  • Has had two or more sexual partners within the past 21 days, or is planning to
  • Has been diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis infection in the last two months
  • Has attended sex clubs, bath houses or other venues for sexual contact within the past 21 days
  • Has had anonymous or casual sex in the last 21 days including after using an online dating or hookup app, or is engaging in or planning to engage in sex work

TPH said the virus spreads between people through contact with infected lesions, skin scabs, body fluids or through respiratory secretions.

It can also spread by contact with contaminated materials like bedding or clothing.

“Anyone can get monkeypox, but during this outbreak, in a number of countries, gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men have been affected,” the release said.

The symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, exhaustion followed by the development of a rash or lesions.

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“A rash or lesion will often appears within a few days after symptoms begin, starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body,” the release said. “Most people recover from monkeypox on their own without treatment.”

TPH said anyone with these symptoms is asked to report them to their health-care provider as soon as possible.

In a statement, Toronto Mayor John Tory thanked TPH and its community partners for “working together to help host monkeypox vaccination clinics to help protect people against the virus.”

“I encourage people to listen to the public health advice and to get vaccinated if they believe they are at risk of contracting this virus,” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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